After scanning through @buzz_clik's Mega Drive collection, I decided to sort through my own set of flashbacks; The Sega Mega Drive was my first console and, thinking about it now, it seems completely bananas to me how complicated some of those games were, and how I was able to muddle through them when I was seven years old.
Take Syndicate, for example. Thinking back on it now, I remember Syndicate as being fiendishly difficult... Mostly because I didn't actually understand what I was supposed to be doing. I remember having a character with a gun that could walk around a futuristic city (sometimes as a group of people), and there were robots that I could apparently seem to recruit (unless they tried to kill me?!), and cars that I could drive? Beyond that I have no idea. I don't think I ever got further than the third level. And yet that is a game I remember spending whole days playing. Eurgh.
I also seem to remember playing a game called Jungle Strike, where you control a helicopter (And sometimes a hovercraft?), flying around the jungle to shoot down cars and rescue people.... it all gets a little blurry. I distinctly remember one level where you have to stop terrorists from blowing up a load of Washington monuments, but you have to defend them in a specific order. There's another level where you have to rescue some Navy Seals (I specifically remember Navy Seals for some reason) and drop them off at an island helipad.
It's another game in which I definitely did not get past the opening levels, but remember spending a disproportionate amount of time playing. I must have been 9 or 10 years old I don't remember making any progress in that game. Not surprising, really; At that age I didn't have any appreciation for "mission briefings" or "objectives". Words? In my videogame? No thank you.
I'm assuming that this is a generation thing, and there are probably people in our community who were unleashed onto a whole mess of games that, despite not being able to appreciate at the time, dominated a whole chunk of their childhood?
There's also probably going to be a bunch of old-timers who never experienced this. You know who you are.